Monday, April 28, 2008

More new stuff

This week has been a hard week for our ward. We had a family in our ward who lost another daughter last Tuesday. They are an amazing family. Even though they are the ones who lost their child they are so concerned about those in the ward and want to make sure that we are okay. It is amazing to see someone with that kind of eternal perspective. Thank goodness for the gospel and the atonement. I don't know how people who don't have a hope for a reunion with their children and other families can endure the pain of loss. We love this family and give them our love and respect and hope for the best for them.
Here is my graduation announcement for my masters. I get to walk on May 3rd. It is kind of irritating since I still have to go to class for a few more weeks. But I am within 9 credits of being finished so they are going to let me walk.

Here is a video of Darci and Maile both dancing with their Grandpa Johnson on his birthday. They have both been big into dancing lately ever since they have been watching Enchanted.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Latest and Greatest

Most of the pictures in this post are going to be very random, but that is how out life is right now.
This is the picture of Darci, Maile, David and our nephew Caiden celebrating Grandpa Johnson's birthday. The girls helped him open presents, blow out candles, and of coarse, eat cake and ice cream. Boy, do we love birthdays!
This blog would not be complete without a little update regarding the snow conditions on the trail at Timpanogos Cave. It has been quite a few weeks trying to clear the snow off the trail and make it passable. This is me smashing through the thick layers of ice and then digging below it to the soft snow, eventually reaching the asphalt below. Progress is slow, to say the least.

Just to prove there is progress, this is me posing at a point on the trail located just over 1/2 way. Behind me is a bench that is still partially covered with snow. The sad part is that the snow gets deeper the higher we go.

Not only are we digging through vast snow fields, but also a lot of rock and debris that has come down over the winter. We often go home at night a little tired and not a little sore. My hand was in a permanent claw shape for hours after we finished.

I had to pose in front of the icicles. Behind me is a pure sheet of ice that makes crossing this section a little treacherous. However, it is pretty.

Maile has a thing with trying on other people's stuff, especially shoes.

Darci has a thing for creating abstract art. I happened upon this one night after everyone had gone to bed and found it intriguing. This is a princess necklace, tied to a teacup using ponytail holders, filled with water and arranged with q-tips. Creative.

We took this picture on our way home from St. George. We decided to stop and visit my Grandpa Bird in Nephi and took this picture. Grandpa gave the girls each a little doll. They thought he was the best. That is because he is.

The girls love to "dance." Darci puts on her "gown" and she and Maile spin and twirl and pretend they are at the ball. David is usually less then thrilled with the idea of his girls being little princesses, but he could not help snapping this photo of them playing. I think they will be fine as long as they continue to watch sports with him and chase him around the yard. It is all about being well rounded. (Or so I am told.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Breeeaaaakkk!! Whoo Hoo!

We spent this last weekend in St. George, UT. We decided to do a little hiking in nearby Snow Canyon. Darci was a little apprehensive and needless to say it took a little convincing, but she decided it was a good idea in the end. She did almost all of the hikes by herself with little resting in between. We did two hikes, each over 2 miles. Not bad for a 4-year-old.
The views from our destinations were pretty awesome. Snow Canyon, and southern Utah in general, has to be one of my favorite places to go hiking.
This is a photo taken from the same location, just a different direction.
This picture makes the rock look a lot steeper then it really was. However, it looks impressive, so I am posting it!
This is David resting after taking his turn carrying kids. We traded off so neither of us was over tired. I think it was a fair trade.
This is where Darci wanted to take a rest. She was such a trooper, I figured we had better document this moment of triumph.
You can't tell in this picture, but when Darci and I climbed this rock, Maile freaked out because she wanted to be up there with us, but it was a little tricky for her to get up there...
So I gave her a little help.
I am glad we took them because now we know they can do it and we can survive and even enjoy ourselves.
This is Darci posing with Daddy on top of some petrified sand dunes.
Darci's favorite part of the hike was getting to climb on all the rocks. This rock had some lava caves nearby that she was thrilled to explore with me. Because the trail was rather steep, we left Daddy and Maile behind and ventured on our own. It would have been fine, except I bashed my head on a low ridge and am now sporting a small, but painful goose egg above my left eye. Cute.
Maile was content to do her share of climbing and scrambling among the red rocks. She doesn't like being left behind.

Great views of some of the lava rock mixed into the red rocks.
Maile got pretty sick of the backpack at times. We had to let her walk a few times.
This is me and Darci in some outcroppings in the rocks we found on one of our hikes.

Here we are getting ready to start one of our first hikes.
Taking a little lunch break before heading back to the car.
Posing in some more outcrops. A trip well worth the effort.